Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Welcome to the blogshow

Madame Mahima did one of these on her blog and very kindly invited the rest us to participate.
The interesting questions are hers.
The complete carnage that follow them are completely my fault.

1) If you had one hour to live, what would you do in that time?
This is so fucking horrible, but my first response was to tell SM I changed my mind. Then I reckoned:
a) One hour isn’t nearly enough to find her and say yes, I’d love some coffee (even hypothetically).
b) Doing the whole going back in time thing would be a bit of a cop out.
c) If I could do the whole back in time thing, I would go back after we finished and do it again and again. And again

(Oh my God, not only am I horrible, I’m I-couldn’t-give-a-fuck-about-the-effects-on-the-space-time-continuum horrible).

Let’s talk credit card.

Let’s talk a shopping spree the size of Guam’s national deficit.
Let’s talk that really nice service apartment at the Ascott I went to and lemme tell you that place is built for all kinds of wrong weekend-with-strange chicks shenanigans. Mirrors everywhere.
Let’s talk my folks whom I’ve always wanted to bring to Canada but never had the money and to first class tickets so when they get on that plane they’d turn left, not right.
Let’s talk that Cartier Trinity ring I saw once but have never forgotten and this girl I know who completely deserves it and thank God diamonds are forever cos unfortunately I’m not baby, I gotta go, I love you so fucking much. But I gotta go.
Let’s talk an Apple 17-inch Powerbook with Airport Express, an iPod photo, a Sony DV Cam and a hot competent secretary so I can tell you guys this via videotaped, HTML-coded, stereophonic last will and testament:
“If you are reading this, it’s cos I’m gone. But towards the end, it was really, really great. I wish I cou-"

2)Margaret Thatcher or Whoopi Goldberg?Why?
Margaret Thatcher.
Because it’s better to be a cast-iron bitch than a hypocrite.

And Whoopi, well, just look at her.

3)You're standing behind a girl who's got her skirt hemline stuck in the elastic of her undies. What do you do?
Me: Um Miss, is there’s a wasp on your skirt.
Girl: Aiyeeeeee! Amargaaaaahhhhddaagedditoffmegedditoffemeohmygooooodoohaaiyeeeeee!

4) You realise your fiancée is actually a transvestite on your honeymoon night. Now what?
Fiancée: I’ve dreamt of this for so long.
Me: Me too aiyeeeeee! Amargaaaaahhhhddaagedditoffmegedditoffemeohmygooooodoohaaiyeeeeee!

5) Who would you rather your Siamese twin be? Michael Moore or George Bush? Why?
Michael Moore.

I know this is silly and superficial, but the truth of it is I detest working for a living. I would rather spend time drinking coffee, reading and watching TV. But due to a filthy addiction to money and a severe allergy to unemployment, I’ve been forced to join the workforce.

Being (permanently) at Michael’s side, I would finally answer what in the last two working years has convinced me is my true calling – to serve in a gasoline-on-bonfire capacity to various people and situations and get paid for it.

Michael: Did you get that research?
Me: No.
Michael: Why not?
Me: You’ve never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Why start now?
Michael: This is true

Wanna play? These are the rules:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person’s will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Me Da

They’re cremating my grandfather and my dad leans in to tell me something. For a moment, he isn’t my dad. He is my older brother whispering in that secretive, conspiratorial way brothers do when in front of other adults.

Dad: I should be feeling something, but I don’t. I thought some grief, or at least guilt, but nope. Nothing. Let’s never become like this.
Me: We won’t.

He smiles and holds my hand.

I’m the only one awake. My dad came home late last night and I went to bed in a foul mood. Then I see it: on top of my cupboard is a space shuttle.

It’s made by Corgi.
The die-cast metal body gives it a nice, expensive-feeling weight.
The cockpit windows are large, black and completely unrealistic.
It has a cargo bay where the metal doors swing open to reveal its payload – a shiny satellite of red and gold plastic.
Best of all, it has a switch.
I flip it forward and three landing gears swing down from under the shuttle and I laugh.

There’s a note.
You’ll fly. I just know it.

I’m the only one awake. I finish wrapping the last Christmas present – my dad’s.
It is a 10-inch official replica of a character from the Cartoon Network series Justice League.
His name is Superman.

On it, I’ve written a note.
Because you are mine.”

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Fuck this

No, seriously.
T minus 30 and counting.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

We all got reasons

After 15 minutes, we all knew there wasn't going to be any class. That is, what was left of us knew. Many of the students had left 10 minutes after my lecturer didn't show. I packed up and took a train to Chapel St to see if I could catch Star Trek: First Contact. It was mentioned on the news the night before because Australia had the somewhat silly distinction of being the first country in the world to see it due to some time zone fluke.

I joined the queue at the box office, which wasn't very long (so much for the news coverage). That's when I saw her. She paused for a moment, but resumed that same cocky stare I see in class.

SM: You should be in class.
Me: So should you.
SM: You could get 2% cut off your grade.
Me: And you could lose your job if I reported you.
SM: We have a dilemma.
Me: We?
SM: I will pay for your movie ticket. And your silence.
Me: And dinner.

The movie was actually pretty good. Star Trek movies have this strange (but consistent) 'win some, lose some' quality. First Contact being watchable practically guaranteed the next one being shite. Dinner was at an Italian place and I actually felt a little bad. My turn to be in a dilemma – I couldn't offer to pay cos:
a) It would mean losing.
b) I had nothing to pay with.
Not offering to pay of course placed me slightly below the line marked 'gentleman.'

"It's alright. I'm rich," she said as the bill came. That was her way. She liked to see you squirm. I'd never seen a student prepared enough for her class, not even the law nerds. Everyone got skewered sooner or later, at least once, and badly.

Me: Let's take the train to Flinders. I'll buy us some ice cream.
SM: Oooh. Big spender.

She had an apartment overlooking the Yarra River.
I said goodnight and thank you for dinner with all the charm and grace of a corpse.

SM: Come up for coffee.
Me: Why can't we have coffee here?
SM: Because I don't want coffee.
Me: I have a girlfriend.
SM: That's the stupidest reason I've heard.

But this time she wasn't mean.
She smiled, turned and went up.

I never saw her again.
I saw someone with her name, wearing her face and her clothes and teaching her class.
But I never saw her again.

Not with the bathwater

This was in the papers yesterday:

PETALING JAYA: If you don’t want your baby, just leave the little one at a public welfare home.
"Please do not abandon the baby," [a female minister] pleaded yesterday. Most abandoned babies are born out of wedlock, with their mothers afraid to ask for help.
Said the minister: "Call any of our welfare departments in any district to help. Do not worry about being embarrassed."

There's more of course, but I'd stopped reading.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


When you get on the train here in KL, it’s common to see signs that prohibit food and drink and pets. And public displays of affection. The icon for that last one is a silhouetted couple facing each other but not touching. The label under the sign roughly translates to “No disrespect.”

The authorities have a special duty to make sure people (in fact, only one ethnic group) behave themselves in public. Under the right (wrong?) conditions, such displays could be a jail-able offence. It’s something that everyone knows and is conscious of on some level, but it’s hardly news.

Late one night, a female colleague gave me a lift to my car park and we were finishing a conversation about work. Out of nowhere, two law enforcement types on a motorbike started circling the car. They gave us a wide berth, but they didn’t bother to hide themselves. We immediately – abruptly, actually – ended our conversation and I walked to my car. They stopped their bike from a distance and rode off about half a minute later.

Thinking back, I’m surprised at how automatic our actions were. My friend drove off without a ward or a wave, as did I. There was no nervousness, no fear, just an instinctive response. Pavlovian even. And maybe it isn’t so surprising. Like I said, everyone knows the situation. We just don’t give it much thought.

What I’d like to know is where the guys on the bike came from. I mean, this wasn’t some make-out park or anything. I’m talking tarmac parking bays in every direction. Under floodlights.
Are they always lurking around and we just don’t see them?
And what a job that must be.
Waiting for people to stop their cars and what, face each other?

Monday, May 23, 2005

You know me. Because I've shown you

Late last week, a friend relocated her blog after a colleague sent out the address in an all-staff email. She's only told a few friends about her blog and they don’t tell anyone else. She said she just didn’t want her whole life to be on show.

Looking back on my previous posts and the blogs I visit, I’m thinking our life is on show. There is precious little in here that isn’t personal. It may not be private, but it is personal.

We have our blog names and faces on, but it’s still us. We talk about our jobs, stuff we see, heartaches, hobbies, hopes, everything. Lots of times we put initials but these don't really hide anything for people who know us from before - if they read it, they'll know it's them. Everyone I’ve read writes so expressively I bet I could tell who wrote what if I read it without the sign-off. And if you pieced together the stuff you read, you could probably tell where they work if they were in your city.

That last point is the rub though. I haven’t told anyone I know about my blog either. I haven’t hidden the fact, I just…haven’t told anyone. It’s not that I don’t want people to read it – I do (or I would've just kept a diary).

Am I only comfortable telling the truth to strangers?
Does this mean you’d never have read this if you were in my city?
I hope not.
I like everyone whom I’ve read. I like the sense of community I feel, this constantly widening circle of new friends. Friends who come and show you things, tell you things, let you in. And I’d like to think if you were in my city, we’d be just as comfortable with each other. I want us to be.

Hello. I’m The Box. It's so nice to finally meet you. My real name is-

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Episode III

You know what, if you watched the other five movies, there's no reason to ignore this one. I wrote a review, but mainly cos I like writing them. Go watch it, I say.

Who lived here?

Yesterday, I began reading We Don’t Live Here Anymore by Andre Dubus.
I bought it at a second-hand bookstore I go to on my way home.

Someone has underlined some of the passages in it.
Passages like:

They have that sad, pensive look that married women get after a few years. Her eyes used to be merry.

It is possible he wanted him to catch her; you have to keep that in mind when you’re making love with a man’s wife.”

“You ought to be knocking my teeth out now. But not you. You want to watch us.”

I care about you. It’s monogamy I don’t care about.”

And it goes on.

At first, the passages appear in brackets.
After a while, the passages are underlined.

Then letters start to appear next to them.
Some passages are marked ‘E.’ Some are marked ‘Y.’
The underlining also gets more pronounced. Some phrases are underlined so many times they gouge the page and the ink bleeds through the other side.

Seeing these marks, I feel like I've walked in on a private conversation and the room has gone silent and now - now they’re staring at me.

The back cover has a single scrawl:
You’ll not forget.”

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Relax, don't do it, when you wanna stick to it

Dear Nik Kershaw, Culture Club, Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears, Billy Ocean, Boy Meets Girl, Paul Young, A-Ha, T'Pau, Debbie Gibson, Men At Work, Cyndi Lauper, Spandau Ballet, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Rick Astley, Bananarama, Berlin, Wham, The Cars, Bonnie Tyler, Lionel Richie, Supertramp, Survivor, Huey Lewis & The News, Kenny Loggins, Fine Young Cannibals, Def Leppard, Sheena Easton, Richard Marx, Eurhythmics, Los Lobos, Nena and Tony Basil.

I hope you guys are still collecting royalties.
Cos the 80s are gonna last forever.

Some parenting advice: Don't

A couple of months back, I got a brief to write parenting tips for a client.
Simple enough, I thought. In fact, probably simple to the point of 'duh,' or more likely 'yawn.'

Boy, was I wrong.

The first thing I did was go out and get a stack of parenting books. After some browsing, it seemed the more useful ones were written FAQ style. But like no FAQs I'd ever seen:

"My nipples are cracked and a cloudy yellow discharge is oozing from them. I want to switch to formula but I'm afraid my baby will reject it. Should I continue nursing?"

"I'm nursing my 3-week old. Can I still let my husband come on my breasts?"

"How soon after delivery can my husband and I resume anal intercourse?"

Reading the calm, professional way in which the answers are written, you're made to believe 7 out of 10 new moms ask these things. That they want to know these things. What's worse is everything's made to sound like an annoying allergy that you can solve with baby wipes, chicken soup and Dr Quack's advice.

Like your child's sexual orientation. One book says dads should make sure they get enough 'face time' with baby. Dads who withdraw affection create a void within male children making them hunger for - and I'm quoting here - "male love" so they turn gay in later life.
Translation: All gay dudes weren't picked up enough when they were crying toddlers making them want to shag their dads when they grow up. Psychologically speaking.

Before long, I began facing some problems:

I couldn't put the stuff down. The tips just got increasingly morbid and disgusting along the way but I was riveted, transfixed in that oh-look-honey-it's-a-car-crash kind of way. I don't know what it says about my worrying lack of moral fibre, but I'm sure it can't be good.

I wasn't getting the job done. Two weeks had passed since I received the brief and I hadn't written a single (usable) parenting tip. Instead, I found myself thumbing through book after book on the train, skipping to the 'good' bits. I turned into a kind of pediatric perv, drawing two kinds of looks: "Must be a young, dedicated father" or "We know what you're doing. And so does Jesus." (Maybe three. There might have been one or two "The condom broke, huh?" stares).

I looked at women differently. A glance at a nice pair of Nine Wests (yes, I can tell these things) became a CSI-style analysis of how those ankles would swell come the 2nd trimester. A figure-hugging tank top conjured images of cracked nipples and blue-veined boobs.

I had to do something.

So one morning, I called the chaps handling the account and told them I was onto the last set of tips. They could pick the stuff up by 4pm and they could present all of them to the client tomorrow morning.

Then I hauled ass and wrote like hell so it wouldn't be a lie.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sith Happens

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith premieres in KL on Thursday. And I have tickets.

Having been a fan since oh, age 3 or so, I recently re-visited some of the earlier Star Wars movies so I’d be in an appropriately psyched state for what’s being billed as a no-holds-barred-holy-shit-it’s-dark-and-sinister-as-fuck conclusion to the saga.

And then halfway through my viewing of The Empire Strikes Back, it hits me.

There are no women in the Empire.
Not one.
Not even ugly ones.

As well documented as Star Wars is, both as a pop culture icon and something bearing all the hallmarks of an organised religion, there are no theories on the thousands of fan sites to explain this.

And of all the possible plot lines debated by pimple-faced Star Wars geeks out there, none discuss what - to me - is the blindingly obvious genesis of this systematic erasure of the fairer sex from the Empire.

Don’t you fools see?! Obi-Wan Kenobi was boning Amidala on the side! Obi Wan shagged the living Sith out of her, Anakin found out, went ballistic, worked himself into a nasty case of chronic asthma, started wearing leather and got into all sorts of wrong S&M shit and decided that there would be no women in his life ever agaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiin!

We now return you to your regular programming.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sorry, sir. Your model is obsolete.

"We've ruined each other, is what it is. We've been with each other so long, we have no useful dating skills."

And as I walked her back to the car, I had to agree. W and I had been together for 9 years and we were each other's first. That made me the dating equivalent of one of those house dogs: ill-equipped to survive in the wilderness.

So when a friend tried to give me some advice recently, I naturally paid close attention.

NI: Why don't you follow us for drinks on Friday night?
Me: I don't drink. You know this.
NI: That's alright. And that's not the point. The point is, where we go, there's a lot of people you'll know. And you can say hi to them.
Me: Aren't I supposed to be saying hi to new people?
NI: Yes, but you can't do that. What you do is you keep coming and you keep saying hi to the people you know. Then the people you don't know will start noticing you. And then, then they'll come to say hi. All you have to do is be consistently visible for a few weeks. Easy.
Me: So new people won't want to know me unless I already know other people.
NI: Well, yes, (stares at me like this is the most obvious thing in the world).
Me: I don't think I want to meet those kind of people.
NI: Sigh...See, this is another problem you need to work on.

I'm not sure if I need new skills, or new friends.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Remember him?

Sure you do.

Good old Simon Templar.

Now imagine him, exactly like this.
Only minus the halo.
Nailed to a cross.
And hung on a church wall.

That's what I pass on the way home every day.

Oh, for the love of Christ.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The real price of fuel

I'm not sure if this happens anywhere else, but in KL, you practically have to beg a cab to take you where you'd like to go.*

Patrons flag down cabs, open the door, and ask timidly if the cabbie would please take their money and take them to such-and-such a destination. It's not unusual for commuters to be rejected two or three times before they find a taxi that deigns to give them a ride.

And then there are the predators. Like the ones that wait outside big shopping malls like KLCC and ignore - yes, look the other way and ignore - local passengers and will only pick up tourists who unknowingly step into a 4-doored, air-conditioned, un-metered trap.

Hardly surprising then, that lots of people in the city prefer to walk 20 minutes to food stalls or brave a ride on dangerously overloaded buses - even at the risk of losing valuables to pick-pockets (my cellphone has made one sneaky fucker about 300 - ok, 200 - bucks).

The cabbies win though. As of last week, fuel prices have gone up 10 cents a litre and the buses have swiftly followed with a fare hike. That means between a 90 cent bus ride where you're most likely going to stand and 3.50 cab ride split four ways, even more people than before are standing under the hot sun begging cabbies to basically do their job.

Today the papers wrote of a cab driver who added his own (un-metered) fare hike in response to the fuel price increase. The passenger refused to pay the hike. The cabbie got down, dragged him from the cab, and proceeded to beat him senseless.

*Ok, I just saw the Amazing Race. It happens.

A bit of shameless self-promotion. But only a bit.

One of the things I liked when I worked at a magzine was all the free (though not necessarily cool) stuff you got.

Like invites to watch movies for free, without lining up, and before anyone else. All in exchange for a review. It's been 4 years since I wrote one so I thought I'd post it and let my audeince benefit from it.

Or not.

Anyhow, here's the first one. There's also a link on my sidebar for future reviews.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Who do you call?

WH is my neighbours' son. Nice polite boy, always says hi, just started college.

One night, my parents told me an unmarked police car had been seen next door. 3 cops came out, questioned WH at length after which got into the car with them and drove off. 1 cop drove away WH's jeep.

He did not return the next morning. In fact, nobody from my neighbours' house returned next morning. I usually see WH's dad as I return from my morning run but his car wasn't even in the driveway. I usually see his sister when I go to work, but she wasn't there either. They emerged the following day visibly affected - solemn and reluctant to make conversation.

Over the course of the week, we began to speculate and my parents' conclusion was it might be a car accident, maybe even a hit-and-run. WH is a nice enough boy, but he kept company with some rowdy types (one time, one of them parked his Evo 7 right across our driveway and when politely asked to move it waved us off with a flippant "I'm not gonna be here long." before going into the house). My folks thought whatever happened might not have been WH's fault, but perhaps his friends had borrowed his car and something happened.

I began to wonder all sorts of things:
Was he in custody?
Were they getting a lawyer?
If he was in the wrong could they plea-bargain like you did in the movies?
Who would I call?
Should we think about getting a family lawyer for things like this?
How do I ask how he's doing without embarrassing my neighbours? Or myself?

Another thing I thought about was had I come home and seen the cops questioning him, would I have stepped in and asked if he needed help? Or would I have slinked into the house and watched from the window?

A week later, WH came home. Thinner, but otherwise himself. And after that, things quickly returned to normal.
I never asked him what happened.
I still don't have a lawyer.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

C.H. (1978 - 2005)

It hasn't hit us yet, but it will.
And everyone, everyone will hurt.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Office 2000

(This is in part an apology to Jay - I will always comment from now on - and in part good timing, because I've been meaning to write this one for a while now).

7 years and a lifetime ago, Jay and I worked together. It was our first writing gig and everything was new and exciting and filled with potential and we worked hard and we said "This is IT!" and the Asian money crisis struck and we had to move and take a 13% pay cut.

During that time, we met our fair share of characters who over the years, keep coming back through the giant revolving door that is our industry:

RF, who would come over to give us job briefs and dispense rude comments about female colleagues complete with index-finger-inserted-and-withdrawn-rhythmically-from-clenched-fist action. One day, he threw a chair at OZ. The company invited him to leave, he accepted. Two days later, OZ resigned.
Last seen: Yesterday, giving me job briefs and dispensing rude comments about female colleagues complete with index-finger-inserted-and-withdrawn-rhythmically-from-clenched-fist action.

OZ, dumb as a basket of rocks, and blessed a rack like it was from IKEA. Famous for wearing white tops two sizes too small and infuriating RF.
Last seen: Going wide from childbirth, dispensing job briefs and infuriating RF. Yes, we're all together again. I thought about moving, but I think they'd just find me again.

PW, a senior writer by experience and age, and a nasty piece of work. For some reason, my lasting impression of her is of her hauling her fat kid, trailing a maid in a shopping mall.
Last seen: Two years ago, hauling a fat kid trailing a....ah, so that's where I got it.

SB, sharp-of-tongue and dull-of-mind, but nonetheless reigned over us because our biggest client loved her and we, desperate for billings, loved the client. I remember telling Jay on our darker days she'd never get far being the universally despised kiss ass she was. And stupid.
Last seen: A year ago, launching her brand consultancy with 2 other ex-colleagues whom I won't even mention here. Press coverage, big bash, swanky office, the works.

FS, who produced commercials for us and whose father owned 50% stake in the company.
Last seen: Last week, on the road driving a brand new 3-series Beemer. FS now runs the company as General Manager.

MC, art director, resident brown-noser and mangler of the English language (he thinks 'maligning' is another word for masturbation, a belief Jay and I reinforced by teaching him how to use it in sentences).
Last seen: Promoted to senior brown-noser, with his name on several award-winning commercials.

It all seems cynical and ironic but it's not.
Some of us turned out alright.

MW, art-director, ambitious, focused, and out of all of us, we felt the one most likely to succeed. He resigned one day to go to China despite speaking no Mandarin. When the bosses heard, they told him to exit the building immediately and only return during daylight the next morning when he would be given an hour to pack his stuff.
Last seen: February this year, taking a break before starting as Creative Director in a big agency's Beijing branch. Speaks Mandarin, still can't write it. Married his copywriter. I wrote the English version of his wedding invite.

Jay, writer, computer gadget fuck-up, purveyor of unconventional porn, and friend. Decided one day to live in London.
Last seen: Last year, at his sister's wedding. Now call-center monkey, uberblogger, purveyor of unconventional porn, dear friend and new uncle. And as far as I can tell, very happy.

It took a while for me to believe this, but the truth - my truth anyway - is no one got a raw deal or anything. As recently as 6 months back I used to think good people always get shafted, shit rolls downhill, the ones with the most money win and all the world's a miserable place.

I've decided that's a pretty lazy way to live. I'm too old to blame anyone for how I'm doing. And I'm doing ok.

The race is not to the swift,
nor knowledge to the wise,
nor yet riches to men of skill.
Time and chance happeneth to them all.

Boy, I can be an introspective sap.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

No pictures please.

I do some work for a bookshop.

Unless you're an adult bookshop, one would think bookstores have little more threatening to deal with than the occasional out-of-stock situation. Not so, apparently.

We were about to send a promotional ad to the printers when the client asked us to hold the ad. They then asked us to take out the picture of one of the titles on offer.

The name of the book is Godless.

"We just don't want any trouble."

And then they instructed us to mention the book and author in the ad's body copy, and that it was available for 30% off.

"Where's that from?" Now repeat to self about 700 times.

The first time I visited EM's blog, I read the phrase "If I could fall, into the sky, do you think time, would pass me by?" And after that, it kept playing in my head.

It was a song but I couldn't remember the tune, and not knowing rendered me useless for work for the rest of the day. That and I looked like a mental patient, muttering the phrase under my breath over and over again.

All this is self-inflicted of course. I could've easily ended my misery by Googling the phrase.

Which, after 5 meetings and God knows how many psychotic bouts of doodling, is exactly what I did.

I cannot adequately describe the sense of relief that washed over me.

Monday, May 02, 2005

So much for charity.

There's this old lady that begs for change at the steps of the train station I get off. I see her most days, always in the morning.

Over the months I've developed this habit of wondering to myself little things about her, only for the few seconds it takes for me to pass her field of vision. Where does she sleep, where does she do her laundry, does she have family, what does she spend the money on etc.

So after months of walking past her, I decided everytime I see her I will give her some money. I reached into my pocket for some change and then something horrible happened.

I counted the change.
I felt it with my fingers and tried to feel the difference between a 50 cent coin and a 20.

Even as I write this, I feel like a complete jerk.